AFC Group 5

AFC

Preview

Iran returned to the global stage after not participating in the 1982 or 1986 World Cup qualifiers due to the Iran-Iraq war (1980–1988). Team Melli would however hope to resume where they left off, having appeared in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, which resulted in two losses and a credible draw against Scotland. Parviz Dehdari had been appointed new national coach in 1986, and immediately brought some success with a 3rd place in the 1988 edition of the AFC Asian Cup.

With only one team progressing from group 5 to the Final Round, Iran were however facing tough competition from China – incidentally the team they had beaten in the 3rd place play-off of the 1988 AFC Asian Cup. China had yet to qualify for any World Cup finals, and most recently experienced a major setup when they failed to progress to the final round of the 1986 qualifiers after a loss to Hong Kong. Much more was expected this time around, and results under manager Gao Fengwen (1986– ) in the 1988 AFC Asian Cup suggested that China were a serious contender for one of two AFC berths in Italia’90. 

Very little to suggest, however, that the two other teams in group 5 could pose any threat to these two powerhouses. Both Bangladesh and Thailand were perennially struggling to assert themselves in both World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

Results

Qualifier 1
19.02.1989
Suphachalasai Stadium, Bangkok

Thailand

1–0

Bangladesh

Qualifier 2
23.02.1989
Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou

China

2–0

Bangladesh

Qualifier 3
23.02.1989
Suphachalasai Stadium, Bangkok

Thailand

0–3

Iran

Qualifier 4
27.02.1989
Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhaka

Bangladesh

1–2

Iran

Qualifier 5
28.02.1989
Suphachalasai Stadium, Bangkok

Thailand

0–3

China

Qualifier 6
04.03.1989
Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhaka

Bangladesh

0–2

China

Qualifier 7
08.03.1989
Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhaka

Bangladesh

3–1

Thailand

Qualifier 8 
17.03.1989
Azadi Stadium, Tehran

Iran
Marfavi (81′)

1–0
Report

Bangladesh

TBC

Qualifier 9
30.05.1989
Azadi Stadium, Tehran

Iran

3–0

Thailand

Qualifier 10
15.07.1989
Tiexi New District Centre, Shenyang

China

2–0

Iran

Qualifier 11
22.07.1989
Azadi Stadium, Tehran

Iran

3–2

China

Qualifier 12
29.07.1989
Tiexi New District Centre, Shenyang

China

2–0

Thailand

Final Table

PosTeamPlWDLGFGAPts
1China650113310
2Iran650112510
3Bangladesh6105492
4Thailand61052142

Conclusion